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Other employees keep coming in my office once I'm gone for the day. I want to leave a note telling them not to be in my office while I'm not there but I don't want to seem nasty about it.

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closed as unclear what you're asking by mcknz, JeffO, gnat, Dawny33, Lego Stormtroopr Mar 1 at 2:33

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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What are they doing in your office? Do they need stuff that only you have? Are you a team lead or something that they are leaving stuff for you that they are working on? Or do they just go hang out in there and do random things when you're gone? – New-To-IT Feb 29 at 16:21
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Yeah, before we can give advice for how to keep them out, it will help to know why they are coming in. – thursdaysgeek Feb 29 at 16:26
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You could put a sign on the door when you are away. "PLEASE LEAVE PAPERS UNDER DOOR" or something similar. – Brandin Feb 29 at 16:33
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How about a lock on the door that only you and management have a key to? – mikeazo Feb 29 at 16:39
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The lock that @mikeazo suggested, plus a bin beside the door to turn papers in. I'm never comfortable "sliding something under the door." That seems disrespectful both to the person in the office and to the customers whose content is in the paperwork. – Wesley Long Feb 29 at 16:41

Lock it

In all honesty, it's a perfectly polite way. If you have an office, presumably you have a door that locks. You want to get a key first, if you don't have one, but usually housekeeping has a key for cleaning... if not, leave wastebaskets outside your door and make arrangements for vacuuming and dusting.

Check in with you management on whether they need to get into the office, and get them a key if they need to get in.

Consider the norms

If you are in an environment where people are regularly using your office while you're out - consider whether this fits the norms for your office. There's various reasons why this happens - the culture may be informal, the office may be very short on space so that people are desperate. Most people won't randomly walk into an office for the amusement factor - so they may have some purpose.

If you know of particular users of your office, ask them why they are using it -- "I'm just curious... why do you use my office when I'm not there?" If the reason is dumb, they will probably stop. If the reason is a good, they'll probably tell you.

Address the problems caused

It is hard to say just "don't use my office"... but it's easier when you bring up points for concern... for example:

I'm looking for help with keeping my office private. I don't want to curtail business use that is necessary, but I'm not comfortable that my office becomes and open space when I go home for the evening. Multiple times I've found left over cups and food in my office, and my things are moved around... it's frustrating to have to find my things and clean up a mess I didn't make when I come in in the morning... can folks find another place to hang out after work hours?"

That gives some clue as to why it's bugging you, and what has caused your frustration. It makes your request sound reasonable.

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thank you that was very help0ful because i feel as if they are taking my office as a hiding place to not do their work – user47362 Feb 29 at 17:03
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+1 for locking up. Ask HR to install a deadbolt. You get a key, and they have a spare that they lock up so HR can get in if it's an emergency. I had the same problem in the past because I had a shelf of reference texts I kept in my office. Some people would get too cozy and be hanging around or taking phone calls when I got back from meetings. – DevNull Feb 29 at 18:22

If they are using your office as a lounge then need to put a stop to that.

It is not just an invasion of your space but they are not being productive if they are hanging out.

Put an inbox near the door or better yet if you have an external inbox then tell them just to use that.

It appears that people may be using my office as a lounge when I am not here. There is no purpose to being in my office other than drop of a message. You can use the in box located xxx to drop of messages.

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There is a reason why people are issued offices, and it's not just for the ego boost. Partly it's so conversations (personal and on the phone) can be private, but also typically we might have confidential documents such as performance reviews and such like around when we're not.

I would say lock the door and have a slot installed for papers, if you think that's necessary. Management should be on your side on this.

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